What is Photo Editor Software?
How Important is Photo Editing?
Picture editing can make even the most ordinary pictures look extraordinary. If you have vacation pictures, family pictures, party pictures, or special occasion pictures that make for special memories, then picture editing can make them even more memorable.
With picture editing, it is not just enhancing pictures that take place. Image restoration of old photographs is also part of this particular skill set.
There are also specific imaging preferences that differ across cultures that have to be kept in mind when doing professional photo editing.
- Background Removal
- Color changing
- Color Enhancement
- You can give details to the background
- You can remove the part of the image and replace with some other image
- You can adjust the brightness
- You can use contrast to enhance your photo
Which Photo Editing Software should I choose?
The question for most photographers is how do they choose the right editing software to supplement their skills.
There are countless different options out there to choose from, from better-known systems like Photoshop and Adobe to simple but effective choices like Canva. There are even some great free options.
In this article, we have listed the top-rated photo editor software with features and system requirements of each software.
Top 10 best photo editor software
1. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classics/CC
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic is the renamed version of the Lightroom application. Photoshop is great for hardcore manipulation: pro retouching, working with masks, layers, and levels.
Adobe Lightroom was made mostly for corrections to shadows, lighting, exposure, and colors.
- For PC Intel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support
- For Mac Intel 64-bit
- For PC: Microsoft Windows Windows 7 SP1 to 10
- For Mac: OS X 10.12 or later
- 4 GB of RAM (12 GB recommended)
- 2GB (10GB for CC)
- Remove shading using Flat-Field Correction
- Camera and lens-based corrections
- Brush and gradient adjustments
- Multiple device support and sync
- Customizable sliders, Smoothen or enhance details with Texture slider
- Face detection for photo organization
- Fixing and blurring tools
2. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo has become the first choice for photography and creative professionals around the world, who love its speed, power, and precision. Affinity Photo is a strong contender against Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
- For PC: 2GB RAM (4GB recommended), Windows 7 SP1 to 10
- For Mac: 64-bit Core Duo 2 or better processor, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.9 or later
- Hard drive: 670MB
- screen resolution: 1280×768 pixels
- RAW file processing
- 64-bit Photoshop plug-in compatibility
- Flawless retouching
- Live filter layers, Apply to single layers or over a whole layer stack
- Huge library of brushes included, you can also create custom brushes
- ICC color management, and LAB color.
3. PhaseOne Capture One Pro
Capture One is photo editing software, developed by Phase One. As well as image editing it performs image cataloging, raw image file processing, and tethered photography.
Capture One works with raw files from many different digital cameras as well as TIFF and JPEG image files
Capture One is the complete photo editing software solution. With powerful tools for organizing, color grading, layer editing – and much more – you get full creative control of your images and your workflow.
- For PC: Dual-core CPU or better, 8GB RAM, Windows 7 SP1 to 10
- For Mac: Dual-core CPU or better, 8GB RAM, OS X 10.11.6 or later
- Hard drive: 10GB
- screen resolution: 1200×800 pixels
- Interface customizability
- Linear Gradient
- Radial Gradient Masks
- Luminosity Masking
- Intelligent adjustments copying
- Capture One plug-in ecosystem opens up for powerful third-party extensions.
4. Skylum Luminar
Luminar is a great photo editing program that is simple, fun, and fast. It comes from Skylum (formally Macphun).
Luminar is an extremely powerful and fast photo editor that can do not only the most basic adjustments but literally millions of “looks” for your photo. It’s extremely easy and fun to use and designed for all skill levels.
- For PC: Processor Intel®️ Core™️ i5 or better
- For Mac: Processor Intel®️ 64-bit Core™️ 2 Duo or better
- For PC: Windows®️-based PC with mouse or similar input device
- For Mac:macOS®️ High Sierra 10.13, Sierra 10.12.6, El Capitan 10.11.5, Yosemite 10.10.5
- RAM: 8 Gb or more
- Hard disk: 2 Gb free space, SSD for best performance
- Display 1280×768 resolution or better
- Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos
- AI Editor/Slider
- Adjustment Layers
- Exclusive filters like Sunrays filter (which lets you add realistic looking sun rays to your images), top and bottom lighting filter, Orton filter (made famous by the Lord of the Rings, blurs some parts of the image and focus on others)
- Image Layers
5. Alien Skin Exposure X4
Exposure X4.5 offers a similar set of tools and features to many rival programs, but its approach is somehow subtler, more creative, calmer and ultimately very powerful.
It doesn’t do dramatic ‘in-your-face’ effects or wild photo manipulations. Instead, its library of preset effects is rooted in atmospheric and evocative ‘film’ looks, with quiet depth and intensity.
Alien Skin Exposure is a mix of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. There are several features that make it unique among other photo editing and organizing applications.
- For PC: Intel Core 2 or equivalent processor, Windows 7 64-bit or later
- For Mac: Intel Core 2 or higher processor, OS X 10.10 or later
- Hard drive: Not listed
- Minimum screen resolution: 1280×768 pixels
- Simple but effective browsing and cataloging tools
- Beautiful analog film effects
- Now supports LUTs
- Effective as a regular image editor too
- Effective as a regular image editor too
- Virtual copies
6. DxO PhotoLab
DxO PhotoLab was designed by and for photographers with exacting standards and a love for beautiful images. DxO Photolab is a powerful, high-end program that delivers truly superb images from raw files, even from very average cameras and lenses.
Its local adjustment tools are extremely effective and its PRME Denoise tool is incredible.
- For PC: Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor, 4GB RAM (8GB recommended), Windows 7 SP1 to 10
- For Mac: Intel Core i5 or higher, 4GB RAM (6GB recommended), OS X 10.11 or later
- Hard drive: 4GB
- DirectX 9.0c-capable system.
- Superbly sharp images
- PRIME Denoise option is stunning
- Manual and automatic mode
- U Point local adjustment technology
- Excellent automatic lens corrections
7. ON1 Photo Raw
ON1 Photo Raw puts the primary photo editing needs for photographers under one roof without having to bounce between multiple pieces of software.
With ON1 Photo RAW 2019.6 you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow efficient, powerful, and simple.
It gives the features photographers use the most from the Lightroom and Photoshop worlds in a single application.
- For PC: Intel Core 2 Duo, Xeon, or better processor, 4GB RAM (16GB recommended), Windows 7 to 10
- For Mac: Intel Core 2 Duo or better processor, 4GB RAM (16GB recommended), OS X 10.9 or later
- Hard drive: 1.5GB
- Screen resolution: 1280×720 pixels
- Stackable filters
- Live adjustments and previews
- Selectively apply effects option
- Available to download on any device
- Textures and borders
GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring.
GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows, and more operating systems.
GIMP provides the tools needed for high-quality image manipulation. From retouching to restoring to creative composites, the only limit is your imagination.
- Intel Pentium IV or faster processor
- RAM: 256 MB
- GIMP is portable
- You can run it from an external USB device with ease
- Digital Retouching
- File management and optimization modes
- Photo enhancements like corrective mode and vignette
- Support for multiple plugins
- Clone and touch-up tools
9. Pixlr Editor
Pixlr Editor is a robust browser photo editor, for all your editing needs. Have full control over your images, including layers and effects.
It contains a lot of features that you normally see in desktop graphic design applications. Jump in and start using this tool with no registration required.
- 1GHz processor or better
- 1GB of RAM for 32-bit PCs, 2GB for 64-bit PCs
- 450MB of free disk space
- OpenGL 2.0 compatible video card with 128 MB video memory
- 1024 x 768 screen resolution
- Over 2 million free effects
- Filters and overlays
- Mobile and desktop downloads or web interface
- Creative editing app
- Various Pixlr versions to choose from
PicMonkey is an online photo editing and design service. It can be accessed from a web browser, or through the PicMonkey mobile app.
PicMonkey’s online photo editor has all the tools and effects you need to make wow-worthy images. Take your photos, designs, and social media posts to the next level with filters, touch up tools, and graphics.
With a free trial, you can test out all the features of PicMonkey before you buy anything, which includes options to edit your photos using specific templates or arrange your images into a college. Plans start at $7.99/mo.
- For PC: Microsoft Windows 7 and later with support for DirectX10 (DirectX9 users can use Firefox, but may still notice issues with performance)
- For Apple OS X 10.9 and later
- Google Chrome OS
- Basic Filters
- Collage effects
- Automatic sizing for social media
- Blank canvas design
11. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
ACDSee has five main modes in separate tabs for each function—Manage, Photos, View, Develop, and Edit. There are some extra features but these are key ones used in general.
Importing is not required with ACDSee. The software will read folders directly off your computer, displaying and respecting its existing folder structure, just like Explorer.
However, users can import off of external sources if they wish to achieve other organizational goals at the same time, such as culling, tagging, renaming, etc.
- Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (2 GHz or faster)
- 2 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
- 512 MB Video RAM (VRAM)
- DirectX 10 compatible graphics adapter.
- 1024 x 768 display resolution (1920 x 1080 recommended)
- 2GB of available hard disk space.
- No Importing – Directly edit source files from your drives and bypass importing the files.
- Facial Recognition – The name says it all. A solid method of organizing and indexing images.
- One time purchase price and monthly options.
12. Corel PaintShop Pro
PaintShop Pro is a raster and vector graphics editor for Microsoft Windows. It was originally published by Jasc Software. In October 2004, Corel purchased Jasc Software and the distribution rights to Paint Shop Pro
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo contains everything you need to create fantastic photos. It provides advanced powerful photo effects and digital painting tools.
Paint Shop Pro X3 makes it easy to create professional-looking photos. There are dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes to choose from, and the app adds new features all the time.
- Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP with the latest service packs installed (32-bit or 64-bit editions)
- Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 or later (multi-core processor recommended)
- 1.5 GB RAM (2 GB or higher recommended)
- 1 GB of available hard-disk space required (2 GB or greater recommended)
- AI enhanced presets.
- Photo editing options like blur and fix
- 360-degree photo editing
- Graphic design templates
- Fantastic user experience
13. Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Inc. Adobe Illustrator allows you to create icons, logos, drawings, typography, and illustrations. They can then be used for diverse platforms, including; print, web, video, and mobile.
The creators of the industry-standard vector graphics software describe it as ‘the state of the art of illustration’. The product is used by millions of designers and artists.
Thanks to Adobe Illustrator, they are able to create iconic work of any size, as well as typography that ‘says it all’. This is exactly what Adobe strives to create; the ability for users to draw attention everywhere.
- Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor.
- Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
- 1 GB of RAM (3 GB recommended) for 32 bit; 2G B of RAM (8 GB recommended) for 64 bit.
- 1024 x 768 display (1280 x 800 recommended)
- To use GPU Performance: an Intel, NVIDIA, or AMD
- Sophisticated touch-up and retouch features
- Best-known photography software
- Pro editing tools
- A large number of filters and brushes
- Multi-layer editing
- 3D design functionality
Canva is a simplified graphic-design tool website, founded in 2012. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to photographs, vector images, graphics, and fonts.
It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.
You can also adjust various elements of your images with a simple drag-and-drop editor, add fonts and templates to your pictures if you want to use them on your website, and more.
- Over 8,000 templates
- Image cropping and straightening
- Photo blur and vignette
- Design grids and photo frames
- Image transparency tool
- Stickers and badges
- Speech bubble maker
15. Portrait Pro
Portrait Professional or PortraitPro is a Windows and Mac based portrait imaging enhancement software targeted at professional and keen amateur photographers.
Developed by Anthropics Technology Ltd and first released on July 2006, it has been in continuous development ever since
PortraitPro is the world’s best-selling retouching software. Using Artificial Intelligence, PortraitPro enhances every aspect of a portrait for beautiful results.
- For PC: 64-bit Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7, with the latest updates installed
- For Mac: 64-bit macOS 10.7 or later.
- 2GHz processor or faster recommended.
- 2GB RAM minimum recommended
- 1024 x 600 minimum supported display size.
- Detects the face, age and gender.
- Advanced layering options
- Automatically retouches the photo with customizable presets.
- Make-up, relighting and face sculpting controls for complete creative control.
- Locates features, skin, hair and background areas.
Fotor is a famous cloud-based photo editing software boasting over 300M users. You can use its free desktop version with all the features that are available on its online photo editing version.
You can check the effects on your photos with a scalable editing option. It has a simple to use interface which allows you to open RAW files and combine images in layers.
- 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster x86- or x64-bit processor with SSE2 instruction set
- Supported OS: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit); 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM (64-bit)
- Hard Disk: 3G
- Portrait Retouching
- Photo editing suite
- Collage, Batch Processing, Focus, Sophisticated Photo Enhancement
- HDR effects
- Filters and image touch-ups
- There are many design templates and hundreds of fonts, stickers, and shapes to choose from
Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor. This software can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos, and complex paintings.
You can download it on Windows or Mac, or you can access the source code if you want to put it into your own app.
Inkscape is designed to give you complete control over your images, whether you want to clone objects, add certain colors to your images, or overlay text.
- Processor: 1 GHz.
- RAM: 256 MB RAM.
- Hard Disk: Inkscape 302MB | Inkscape Control Console 869.1MB | Total 1171.1MB.
- Supported OS: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000.
- Calligraphy tools
- Copy-paste object cloning
- Color picker
- Available extensions and add-ons
- Multiple text formats
Photolemur 3 is a fully-automatic, drag-and-drop, AI-powered photo editing application. Released by Skylum on September 14, it is available for Windows and Mac OS as a one-time, subscription-free purchase.
This particular photo editing application seems to be designed for casual photographers who don’t have the required knowledge for making custom photo edits.
- Intel® Core i3 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor; 2 GHz or faster processor
- 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
- 1024 x 768 display (1280×800 recommended)
- 4 GB of available hard-disk space, SSD for best performance
- DirectX 10-capable video adapter
- Extensive image format support including RAW
- Fast and simple image processing
- Well-balanced results with correct exposure and white balance
- Batch processing unlimited images
- Face enhancements
- Affordable price
We hope this article will help you to find the best photo editing software for your needs. If you are looking for a free simple editor then Canva, Pixlr, GIMP may fit the bill. However, for an easy to use industry-standard we recommend Adobe Lightroom.